12-30-2013, 10:28 PM
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I have been following the Method for three years now and have done the cruising exercise with several different horses. Actually the cruising exercise is one of most favorite exercises in the fundamentals. They all seem to start out cantering into the fence, making quick direction changes, getting stuck in corners, next to gates. It is like they don't know what to do with all the freedom the only thing they have to do is keep the gait you set them on and it confuses some of them. The best advice I can give you is make sure your centered, balanced and ready for whatever he does. The 180 is normal, crashing into the fence happens. Once he has crashed into the fence (committed to the mistake) I have found that if you keep the pressure on as you approach the fence, squeeze, cluck, spank, no steering, they tend to keep moving and stop crashing or getting stuck in the corners. If you think he is thinking about crashing increase the pressure, and release it as soon as he moves on. Make him uncomfortable for even thinking about it. Remember they learn from the release of pressure so when he does the right thing give him relief, when he does the wrong thing make him uncomfortable. Some of the stuff they do while cruising at the canter will take your breath away, and it is scary at times but stick with it and it gets better. Eventually he will pick a path and keep going around and around on the same path. Make sure your saddle is tight, grab the horn, relax your hips, breath and don't tense up and remember your there for the ride, ride like your drunk as CA says. If your really having trouble go back to cruising at the trot until he is more relaxed. I have found that doing the cruising at the canter after lots of trotting when they are a bit relaxed and thinking helps. Good luck to you.